Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Custard-Filled Corn Bread

A good recipe for both Thanksgiving and Christmas — or really anytime of the year when it's cold outside and you want comfort food — is corn bread.  I love corn bread.  It is filling, sweet, savory, and cornmeal gives the bread a lovely texture that is both crumbly and cake-y.

This cornbread is everything you're looking for. When it comes out of the oven, it has beautifully crispy edges and a soft and delicate crumb.  What sets this apart from other corn bread recipes though is the moist interior... the creamy and luscious custard layer.  When it is cold, from the fridge, the creamy custard layer is like a savory icing, inside of a corn bread cake.  I wish I could describe it better.  I only know that after Thanksgiving, when I went Black Friday shopping with my mom and my sister, I kept thinking about how I wanted to go home and eat this cornbread for lunch.  It's that good.

Custard-Filled Corn Bread
adapted from A Homemade Life 

3 tbsp. butter, melted (I always used salted)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow corneal, preferably medium ground (make sure this is not self rising cornmeal)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk (the original recipe specifies whole milk, but I used 2% and it was fine; a slight difference in fat content shouldn't make a big difference)
1 ½ tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Butter an 8- or 9-inch round pan.  I used a 9-inch glass pie casserole and it worked beautifully.
Put the pan in the oven with a little pat of butter to warm while you mix together the batter.
Combine the butter, sugar, salt, milk, and vinegar and whisk well.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda.
Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Whisk until the batter is very smooth.
Remove the heated pan from the oven (it's okay if your butter has browned a little, this just adds to the flavor and fragrance of the corn bread).  Pour in the batter; the edges will puff up a little as a they hit the hot pan; this is supposed to happen.
Slowly pour the cream in the center of the batter.  Do not stir.  Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake until golden brown on top, about 50 minutes.
When done baking, allow the corn bread to rest for about 10 minutes so the custard has a chance to set a little.  Serve warm.

Leftovers can be eaten cold from the fridge.  It is absolutely delicious for breakfast with some maple link sausage.

This will keep, covered, in the fridge for about 4 days, if the leftovers last that long, which I doubt they will.  It's just too good.

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